Friday, May 8th, Glory 21 and Glory SuperFight Series San Diego were at the Valley View Casino Center in Point Loma with their Middleweight World Championship bout and four-man Heavyweight Qualification Tournament, a show that went over the top as far as entertainment value.
In the Middleweight Championship Main Event it was the Champion Artem “The Lion” Levin (50-4-2) from the nearby The Boxing Club of La Jolla, Calif. by way of Prokopyevski, Russia holding on to his title by squeaking out a draw versus his arch nemesis Simon Marcus (42-2-2).
The two gents, who met previously under the Lion Fight banner with Marcus getting the nod, battled this one out, as they say tooth and nail, till the bitter end. One judge had Marcus winning 48-46 while the other two judges scored the bout 47-47 for the majority draw.
When the verdict was announced you could clearly hear someone shout “Bullsh*t! I won that fight!” From the resulting crowd noise, you had to figure there were quite a few fans in agreement with Marcus. The problem of deciphering the winner was the constant back and forth momentum swings and nonstop pummeling of each.
With referee Marcos Rosales deducting a point for excessive holding/clinching, many at ringside felt that could be the difference maker when it came time to tally up the scores.
While Marcus controlled the pace and kept pushing forward for the majority of the time, you’d have to say Levin landed more of the cleaner, harder blows.
In the Heavyweight Tournament Final there were some ruffled feathers that needed smoothing out from a disturbance which occurred at Thursday’s weigh-ins. During the weigh-ins, Xavier Vigney and Chi Lewis-Parry had heated words and went literally from nose to nose, to chin to chin. On Friday evening, using his fists, Vigney did the smoothing out of the feathers.
As a professional boxer with a 2-0 record, Vigney gave little or no regard to the other six limbs and went straight at Lewis-Parry relying on his punching power. Halfway through the second round, in this the finals of the GLORY 21 heavyweight qualification tournament, Lewis-Parry found himself trapped in his own corner, pinned against the ropes and trying to weather a barrage of punches to the head before he finally dropped to one knee.
With the KO victory, Vigney earned himself a berth in the upcoming Glory contender tournament, where he could end up fighting Rico Verhoeven for the title and earning a ton of money.
In the earlier semifinals of this heavyweight tournament, Chi Lewis-Parry took a few big shots from Demoreo Dennis early, then bested him with a big overhand right for the knockout at 1:43 of round one.
Interesting trivia: At one time, Demoreo Dennis weighed 460 pounds. Then he got involved in going to the gym where he got down to his present fighting weight of 248.4 pounds. Chi Lewis-Perry just may be a cockiest fighter who ever lived. One of his recent quotes confirms our suspicion: “Wouldn’t you want to see a man that would make Lucifer tremble if he stood before him? I would and I’m that man.”
Xavier Vigney made his way to the finals by leveling the 34 year-old Maurice “The Gorilla” Jackson (273.4 lbs.) at the 1:32 mark of round one. After hurting Jackson early with a leg kick, he finished him off with the big guns.
With the affable Mr. Jackson using the moniker of “The Gorilla,” we had to do some probing. Not to discourage anyone from using such a moniker, this 6’9” giant, father of five, who weighs 273.4 lbs., thought it was amusing. Joe Frazier didn’t think so, especially when Mohammad Ali gave him that nickname. Frazier’s children took all sorts of abuse at school. With arms longer than their legs, your average male gorilla weighs 300 to 400 pounds and at the most stands 5’9” tall.
In the co-main event with Raymond “Real Deal” Daniels, the crowd was expecting all sorts of spinning techniques and as usual, Daniels delivered. To win the contest, he ripped Bellator vet Jason Baesman with a spinning back kick to the liver which ended the fight immediately at just 55 seconds of the first round.
In the Glory Superfight Series, local favorite Mike Lemaire from the Art of Eight Training Center in the Kearny Mesa neighborhood of San Diego, delighted the home folk with his unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) over the very game Casey “Go” Greene of Simi Valley, Calif. who took the fight on just three days notice.
With Rafael Cordeiro of Kings MMA in his corner, the 26 year-old Giga Chikadze from the country of Georgia finished the 31 year-old Ken Tran from Vancouver, British Columbia at the 2:19 point of round three with some of the niftiest kicks you will ever see. Round after round, Chikadze, fighting at the catchweight of 159 lbs., put on a clinic. He went through his entire repertoire as if he were auditioning for all present. There were the axe kicks, spin kicks, side kicks, rolling overhead kicks and as they say the regular lower-limb violence. You can be certain if there were some grand masters sitting at ringside, they would have been up on their feet celebrating his performance.
Maurice “The Pirate” Greene, a 6’7”, 241.2 lb. heavyweight from Evanston, Illinois wasted little time and stopped Ashley Epps early in round one by knockout. Epps, from Alex Palma’s Blue Ocean Fight Team in San Diego, was making his pro debut.
Next up, light heavyweight Manny Mancha (205 lbs.) got the KO victory over Andre Walker (204 lbs.). The 6’2” Mancha from Fresno, Calif., a southpaw, is another wonderful, inspirational story. To get to this point in his career, Mancha had to lose over 100 pounds.
From the outset it was impossible to tell which of these gents was going to come out victorious. Bang went one big punch to Walker’s face and soon after Walker was reeling from a Mancha offering. Round one ended with Mancha looking out of sorts, in point of fact rather shaky.
After the knockout of Walker in round two, Mancha was brought to the center of the ring for his thoughts about the amazing fight. Mancha’s answers seemed disoriented as if he was the one who had been the victim of the knock out: “I really don’t remember. I can’t recall what the punch was. Was it the superman punch?”
Former wrestling great Mike Goldberg, a VIP guest, made the following observation, “For a combat sports fan, it doesn’t get any better than this. There’s no way you can compare that $100 Mayweather versus Pacquiao PPV match with this show. Wow, all these fights have been great.”
Then they had a welterweight match between the 31 year-old Omari Boyd from Nashville, Tenn. (38-3) going up against Chris “The Kid” Carradus (4-2) from Huntington Beach, Calif. As the fight progressed it soon became apparent Boyd was lacking his usual mobility. With this development, he often found himself a sitting duck for the younger foe who was putting up quite a fight. After going the distance, the judges scorecards had Boyd ahead winning by a split decision.
Next, they featured a Military Bout between 25 year-old, 6’1″ Kyle Stewart (185.4 lbs., 9-1 as an amateur mixed martial artist) trained by Matthew Frincu and representing the Marine Corps going up against a Navy Medic by the name of Devin Goodale (6′, 183 lbs., 22 years-old) from Corona, Calif. who was training at the Alliance Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. with Cali Miranda. Incidentally, Mr. Stewart has now had three tours in Afghanistan.
Since both did so well, you would have thought they had been training for years. The height and reach advantage gave Stewart an edge which Goodale was unable to overcome. The scores, all favoring Stewart: Judge Marcos Rosales: 29-28, Judge Luis Cobian: 30-27 and Judge Cecil Peoples, 30-27.
Goodale’s comments: “Lost by decision in a great fight with Kyle Stewart. Hats off to the dude. A fighter with great skill and class. I learned a lot and had a great time fighting for such a prestigious company. Already looking forward to my next scrap.”
Stewart’s reply: “You did great man. People don’t usually take it to me like that. You came in and fought your a## off. Be proud of yourself, you have a bright future ahead.”
In the preliminaries:
Bout 1, 23 year-old Benjamin Roberts (6’3”, 170.4 lbs.) of San Diego and trained by Preston Peters of the Undisputed Fitness gym in El Cajon defeated 30 year-old James Ewton (168.8 lbs.) from The Arena in Point Loma to improve to 3-0-1 in his amateur Muay Thai/Kickboxing career. Judge Marcos Rosales scored the bout: 29-28, Judge Luis Cobian: 30-27 and Judge Nelson “Doc” Hamilton: 30-27 all for Roberts.
Bout 2 saw 30 year-old Antonio Arango (145.2 lbs.) from Lemon Grove and trained by John Vargas at the Valor Fight Club, Logan Heights get the TKO victory at the 1:44 mark of round two over 24 year-old Alex “The Ice Cream Man” Trinidad (144.8 lbs.) from Murrieta, Calif. and trained by Charles Martinez at The Arena. After recently winning the Archangel Worldwide MMA Lightweight Championship, Trinidad had a major problem with the more experienced Muay Thai practitioner especially with his knee kicks to the head which led to the early stoppage.
Bout 3 had 25 year-old Jason Breedlove (155 lbs.) of San Diego, Calif. and trained by Melchor Menor of the Art of Eight Training Center going up against 29 year-old Gabriel Pizarro of San Diego, Calif. and trained by Charles Martinez of The Arena in Point Loma. Pizzaro, 3-0 in IKF matches, had his hands full with the energetic Breedlove and both went full bore in the opening stanza. By the third round, the excitement had dwindled down to what you’d call slow-mo. Pizzaro’s power and accuracy, especially in rounds one and two, earned him the split-decision victory – Judge Marcos Rosales had it 29-28, Pizzaro, Judge Luis Cobian had it 29-28, Breedlove and the deciding Judge Mark Smith had it 29-28, Pizzaro.